Lavalette was diagnosed with an aggressive form of IgA nephropathy -- an immune disorder in which the body attacks its own kidneys. Her doctors told her she might slow the disease with medications and diet, but eventually her kidneys would stop working.
That happened 11 years later. “My kidney function went downhill fast, from about 20 percent to 11 percent over a month or two,” said the now-42-year-old Raleigh mom of two. “I felt awful: swollen feet, headaches, dizziness, exhaustion.” Her local provider told her it was time to start thinking about dialysis -- and about getting on a transplant waiting list.